BURLEY, Idaho (KLIX) – Heat up the frying pan, 20,000 channel catfish were stocked Wednesday at Milner Reservoir. Some of the fish are tagged and could offer anglers a cash prize.

This is the 27th year that Idaho Power has stocked catfish at Milner. It is, however, the third and final season – at least for now – it will include tagged fish in its stocking.

The stocking program is part of Idaho Power’s license requirements to operate its 59.4-megawatt hydroelectric plant at Milner Dam. As for the tagging program, the utility cpmpany partnered with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in an effort to track how many anglers catch catfish at the reservoir.

Brad Bowlin, an Idaho Power spokesman, told News Radio 1310:

Idaho Fish and Game will compile the data toward the end of this year, and then we’ll have more info about how many of the fish are caught, how many anglers have been going after them, the most popular locations, etc. The surveys are typically done over multiple years to make sure you aren’t getting results that could be skewed by an unusual year. We’ll use the data to determine the success of the stocking program and how we might need to change it in the future to benefit anglers.

Most of the channel cats stocked at Milner are between 6 and 12 inches long. Idaho Power says that additional good news for anglers is that channel catfish grow quickly and holdover fish from previous stockings could exceed 20 inches and weigh up to 10 pounds. As for tagged fish, they could be worth $50.

Shore access is limited at the reservoir due to private land, but the company says several boat access locations are available:

  • Lex Kunau Park boat ramp near the Highway 27 Bridge in Burley
  • North Freedom Park boat ramp near the Highway 30 Bridge in Heyburn
  • Bureau of Land Management access near Milner Dam on the south side of the reservoir

Anglers who reel in tagged catfish can report their catch online or by calling 866-258-0338.